Donahue scolds MSNBC

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After MSNBC canceled his prime-time talk show, spurned cable news host Phil
Donahue struck back this week, accusing management of trying to imitate Fox News Channel
and not being patient enough with his show.

Donahue, who hosted his last show Monday, said The New York Times'
op-ed page features a variety of views on possible war on Iraq and "MSNBC's
voice should be no less diverse."

The recent hirings of conservative voices like Mike Savage, Dick Armey and Joe
Scarborough, he continued, "suggest a strategy to out-fox Fox."

And despite some ratings growth for his show, Donahue said, "Alas, our
numbers and our upward trend were, in the view of management, not good enough or
fast enough."

He wished the program who takes his place -- for now a second hour of Lester
Holt's Countdown: Iraq newscast -- "longer time in the ring and a more
patient management team loudly cheering on from the corner. This is the only way
for a cable host on MSNBC to have any chance of being a contender."

Most of Donahue's staff, MSNBC said, will be reassigned to other shows.